Luxe Touch-Sensitive Vibrating Dildo

May 3rd, 2017

From the pictures, Cal Exotic’s new Luxe vibrating “dildo” looks like many of the silicone dildos on the market. It has a suction cup base and a slightly contoured head. You can choose from bright pink or purple or two more fleshlike colors.

Of course, it’s not a dildo because it’s actually a vibrator. I guess the suction cups, which works but I will never use, counts this thing as a dildo in someone’s book. It would be harness-compatible, but I’m still not feeling the nomenclature. It’s not a dildo, okay? Luxe is also not as sleek in person as it seems — so much for being luxe — and that’s where I need to focus the beginning of this review.

In person, you can clearly see a white, cylindrical casing beneath the thin layer of silicone that covers it. The silicone is so sheer that it harkens back to a time of PVC jelly vibrators and rabbits with their innards revealed for the world to see. Now, I suspect that the function of this vibrator requires a different interior than others, and I’ll get to that later.

But this whole thing seems like such a weird design flaw that you could see through it. And what I can see? Isn’t the best. During the initial washing, I saw what appears to be a crack in that inner piece of plastic, which was easy to spot through the silicone. I hadn’t even had a chance to use the Luxe, yet. So it’s not looking good for this one.

Crack in the toy

Usually I break the toys myself, but this one came pre-broken??

The more I looked, the more cracks I saw. I.. what?

Cracks in the inner mechanism

I can’t even think of a joke to crack about this. Oh, wait, there it is!

Well, what about its touch-sensitive capabilities? I’ve got slightly better news for you.

This function works not by squeezing the vibrator harder like the Limon or Ola, which is what I initially assumed, but by responding to the area of the shaft that’s squeezed. To illustrate, if you wrap one hand around the shaft, it doesn’t seem to increase vibrations. But adding your second hand beneath it increases the intensity. You can assume that thrusting the toy internally would achieve the same effect. Whether it’s noticeable internally is up for debate, however.

And, to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the shape or size of this toy, and I think it’s part of that inner mechanism, which feels pretty rigid under the thin silicone coating. Although I don’t need a curved toy for G-spot stimulation, the absolute straightness of the Luxe isn’t comfortable. In fact, it’s almost painful despite only having a 1.5-inch diameter, which is the same throught the entire shaft.

If the shaft tapered a bit more before the head (or overall), it’d be fine. But then the toy might not be sensitive to touches. Perhaps that mechanism should be located further toward the base, or the diameter slightly smaller overall. As it is, Luxe just feels invasive, and I can’t enjoy the touch sensitive function.

It’s a shame because I would like to. The rounded head works well enough for G-spot stimulation, the vibrations are more rumbly than buzzy, and the strength is decent. It’s not like a Hitachi, but it’s definitely good enough. I even liked some of the modes, which never happens.

I think there’s promise if they can offer the same function in a variety of sizes. I am assuming that it’s a size constraint due to what I can see through the silicone, but what the hell do I know, right? If ever there were a toy that I wanted to rip apart, it’s the Luxe. And perhaps I will. After all, it’s already on its way to breaking.

One last gripe: I kind of hate when toys have a single button and require you to hold it to turn it off. I would rather have to hit a down button 8 million times or have a separate master power button. I want an auto off and find myself ridiculously annoyed when this isn’t an option.

I might be alone in this. Luxe has a pretty high rating on GoodVibes, but none of those people left reviews, so take that with a grain of salt.

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Iroha Mini Giveaway

April 17th, 2017

A while back, I won an Iroha Mini through a Twitter contest. I was excited — until it arrived at my door and I realized that I already had one. So it’s been sitting in a box on my kitchen table while my sister tries to puzzle out what it is. (Not a bath bomb or a makeup sponge, though it could pass for either).

I figured it’s been a while since I hosted a giveaway on Of Sex and Love, and this could be a great way for me to get rid of something that I don’t love, get some new readers and help someone else discover more about their sexuality.

So here’s what you need to know about the Iroha Mini. Like the name suggests, it’s small. Iroha emphasizes that it fits in the palm of your hand, so I imagine this means you don’t need much room to store, and you could throw it in your purse or luggage no biggie. See what I did there? Fine, I’ll take my puns elsewhere, just like you can with this sex toy. Okay. I’m done.. for now.

The little vibrator has a rounded bottom and comes to a conical point, that’s also rounded. It’s not unlike Minna’s Limon; though I like that toy better personally. The whole thing just looks so friendly, and the bright colors (straight outta Crayola) add to that. So do the dancing Iroha Minis on the official website. See for yourself.

Iroha mini relies on a single battery (AAA) and has a single on/off button. Easy peasy. Lemon squeezy. It’s waterproof, and I guess you can use it as a top. Or not. I’ve never tried.

The vibrations are a little buzzy for my liking and non-adjustable. This would be a good toy for someone who’s pretty sensitive to vibrations.

This toy is made from ABS plastic and elastomer, so it won’t collect lint or dust. Unlike the gorgeous, otherwise-perfect unicorn dildo (see my review). It looks kinda squishy, but it’s hard. It does have a silky finish.

So, the Iroha Mini. It can be yours for the low, low price of get it out of my house free.

Per usual, you get a free entry. There are one-time entries and daily giveaway entries, so make sure to come back every day. If you’re commenting on the blog, you’ll be able to participate in more entries.

I may add more entries as time goes on.

Good luck!

Iroha Mini

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The Purge

April 13th, 2017

No, I’m not talking about some presumably terrible horror (thriller?) movie. Rather, I mean the semi-annual completely random time at which I realized the product packaging dilemma in my apartment has gotten way out of hand. Not just a little out of hand but, you know, I’ve been waiting months to deal with this but I haven’t yet. And there’s a reason for that.

Because companies put so much extra shit in their packaging that I need to spend an ungodly amount of timing removing plastic and foam insert (even if they’re glued in), cutting out plastic windows, breaking down boxes, snipping fabric handles, removing magnets and for some ungodly reason cutout out metal fucking eyelets from sex toy boxes.

Listen, this isn’t my first rant about packaging. I don’t care how fancy your box is if it’s going to take up room and be difficult to dispose of, and I am downright angered when the toy inside is mostly a piece of shit that’s never going to do anything for me.

And I might be the only one, and maybe I make it harder for myself, but the way that boxes have become harder to recycle is downright creative. 

So if you must, allow us to remove the foam and plastic. Use open windows, not plastic. Don’t embed anything, okay? If I need to attack it with a pair of scissors or box cutter and my god damn hands wind up hurting, I’ll wanna hurt you.

The shitty thing is that while I can read reviews and look at product photos on sites, assuming that packaging is shown, it’s impossible to know if something is embedded or glued in to avoid buying it. Sigh.

Whatever. I’ll live. It’s done with. For now.

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Science of Sex: Lube

April 11th, 2017

Welcome to the second installment in a new feature on Of Sex and Love: Science of Sex. In this feature, I plan to discuss the science of sexuality in an easy-to-digest format that’s accessible to the casual reader. I will also follow up with some extended reading material for people who want to know more about the subject of each post.

Enjoy!

science of sex lube

I am not the first person to write about lube, and I doubt I’ll be the most effective. But lube is so interesting from a scientific viewpoint, and I believe we can never talk about it enough.

Lube should make sex better, but it doesn’t always. For example, lubes that contain the spermicide nonoxynol are quite abrasive to sensitive tissues, resulting in micro-tears that actually facilitate the transfer of infections. Multiple studies have shown that Nonoxynol-9 contributes to HIV transmission.

Osmolality

Depending upon its osmolality, the measurement of particles per KG in a solution, lube may be doing unseen damage to your vagina or anus that increases the likelihood of an infection, too. Many lubes have a much higher osmolality (greater than 1,000 mOsm/Kg) than the vagina (~275 mOsm/Kg) or anus meaning there are more particles in the lube than the tissue it comes in contact with.

Osmolality is also important when it comes to sperm, which have a different measurement than vaginas, anuses, saliva and many lubes. By default, nearly all lube proves to be an inhibitor to sperm, so you’ll want to look for sperm-friendly lube when it comes to

Lube pH

If your lube has a pH that differs from your body’s natural pH (between 4.5 and 7 for most vaginas; pH varies during your cycle and life), you might find yourself dealing with a yeast infection while your body seeks balance.

Other Problematic Ingredients

And personal lubes that contain L-arginine, which is typically used to encourage sensitivity and arousal, can cause a herpes breakout. Sensation lubes (warming or cooling) typically rely on menthol or capsaicin to produce the desired effect, and every body responds to these chemicals differently.

Numbing agents such as lidocaine or benzocaine are sometimes found in anal lubricants. However, experts recommend against numbing the area because it both reduces pleasure and makes it harder to tell if you’re being too rough, which could lead to damage.

Lube and Your Toys

Even if lube is good for your body, it may not be compatible with your toys, which is the case with low-quality silicone lube and silicone toys. Using them together can cause an interaction that increases the porosity of your silicone toys, so they’re not as body-safe as they once were.

Further Reading

Did you enjoy the second installment of Science of Sex? Do you have further questions or suggestions for next month’s subject? Leave me a comment!

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Split Peaches Unicorn Horn Dildo (Pastel Pleasures – Medium)

March 31st, 2017

Have you ever used a toy that’s just too good? Yea. It’s a thing. I didn’t know either.

Sure, I’ve have toys that were very good. Some were, eh, good enough. Some were, wow, not good at all. This dildo might be the first that’s too good. It’s almost unbelievable like a unicorn, you might say.

So let’s talk about that first. This is a dildo like a unicorn horn. I got one swathed in pastels with silicone wrapping its way down the shaft. To be honest, it looks a bit more like ice cream than a unicorn horn, but you can also get it in pearlescent white, which might be more traditional for unicorns, along with a bold, rainbow-colored one. There’s even a gorgeous blue-purple one on the manufacturer’s site that SheVibe doesn’t carry (yet…?).

There’s a flat base that could be compatible with your harness if you want the power of the unicorn; though, I’ve only used this solo.

The dildo is surprisingly flexible. You can bend it backward to touch itself. The outer layer has a fair amount of give. It’s not squishy like VixSkin, more like a softer version of Tantus’ shiny silicone. The core is firm enough to remain upright. And it’s not so soft that you can’t control it from the base when it’s inserted. I really enjoy the formula of this silicone, and much silicone has fallen into the “meh” camp for me previously.

The one thing that’s not good about the silicone? It’s the lintiest lint-magnet ever. Like wash-it-and-wash-it-again. I’ve never had to spend so much time washing a toy as I have the unicorn dildo. And there is no way possible to photograph it without picking up more lint and hair. Sorry.

The end of the horn is rounded, so penetration feels easy with a little lube, even if it’s not particularly awesome lube, haha. And the particular increase in circumference is nearly perfect. I don’t need to be warmed up at all, and the narrower tip doesn’t bother my cervix. Again, near perfection.

But I think a custom size would be better up my all. The length — 10 inches — isn’t really necessarily, and I don’t feel especially full when the toy hits my cervix. If this were maybe 3″ shorter, I would absolutely adore it. It would still not be the toy for size queens, but I’d be able to appreciate the 2.75-inch circumference near the base in a way that I just can’t now.

Still, I can use the dildo, get it right where I want it (thanks to the flexibility), press it right against my G-spot (thanks to the firmness) and hold it in place until I squirt. It’s made me squirt nearly immediately. Like 10 seconds or less. It doesn’t take much to make me squirt, but this is still impressive. A second ejaculation following needing less than half that time.

But if it only takes fifteen seconds, what else do I do it with it, you know? Fortunately, I do find the unicorn dildo to be quite enjoyable while stroking. The twisted texture seems too subtle to notice, but I can feel the waves in a way that’s in no way objectionable. Split Peaches makes dildos with much more texture if that’s up your alley, however.

If there were any toy that was going to give me a vaginal orgasm, the unicorn dildo is probably it. We’re not there yet, but, hey, sometimes you’ve got to believe in magic, right?

SheVibe

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I’m Not In Love And That’s Weird

March 22nd, 2017

I’m always in love, aren’t I?

I’m always falling or fallen and pained because of it. There’s always someone. A person. Him. Occasionally Her.

For over half my life. Nearly every day of every year.

I am good at being in love, even if I am not good at being in a relationship.

But I am not in love now.

I haven’t been, not for a year. Give or take (and it usually is take).

I am infatuated with dead celebrities. Attracted to assholes who are terrible in bed. Curious about new people. But I am not in love.

That is okay, of course. I don’t always have to be in love. Sometimes I don’t even want to be in love.

But you can become accustomed to things that you don’t want or need. We do it all the time, even when we shouldn’t. Especially when we shouldn’t.

So when I realized that I wasn’t in love and that this is the longest stretch in my entire adult life where I haven’t been in love, it gave me pause.

Still, it feels good. Somehow. I am not in love, but I know I will yet again fall in love. I can look forward to the good (and brace myself for the bad) of falling in love.

I am something of a fresh slate, ready to be written. Then crossed off and erased. Modified and corrected. Maybe it’ll even be a happy story for a time.

Either way, it’ll be fodder for this blog. For my writing.

I’m not in love now. That’s okay. I’ve got time.

It’ll happen sooner than we all think, anyway.

 

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Science of Sex: Conditioning

March 11th, 2017

Welcome to the first post in a new feature on Of Sex and Love: Science of Sex. In this feature, I plan to discuss the science of sexuality in an easy-to-digest format that’s accessible to the casual reader. I will also follow up with some extended reading material for people who want to know more about the subject of each post.

I hope you enjoy. 

Science of Sex -- Conditioning

We all learned about Pavlov, his dogs and classical conditioning in school. By associating a neutral stimulus (the ringing of a bell) with a desired reward (food), Pavlov was eventually able to condition dogs to salivate at only the sound of the bell, even when there was no food in sight.

Much like food conditioning, sexual conditioning exists. However, many people first stumble across their capacity for conditioning quite by accident. Whether you masturbate to hardcore porn during your formative years and become unable to get off any other way or you realize that you’re physically turned on at the sight of a bright red lipstick that your partner wears specifically for sex, you’ve been conditioned.

Human’s aren’t the only animals capable of sexual conditioning. In fact, humans may be less prone to this type of conditioning than other animals. People who higher sex drives who more easily respond to sexual stimuli are the most likely candidates to become sexually conditioned, whether by accident or design. Most studies focus on men, who may be more likely to become sexually conditioned; however, women can experience it, too.

Upon discovering sexual conditioning, some people like to experiment it. BDSM practitioners sometimes employ sexual condition as it’s especially helpful to force someone to orgasm on command. You can certainly play around with sexual conditioning without being kinky, however.

Attempting to sexually condition someone without their knowledge may cross fall into consensual gray area. And classical conditioning has been used for nefarious purposes: specifically to change a person’s sexual orientation. The process, known as conversion therapy, attempts to change a person’s orientation with stimuli such as electricity or nausea drugs. No reputable studies show that this type of conditioning is successful, and one proponent of conversation therapy who wrote a controversial paper about it has since changed his stance and offered an apology to the gay community.

Finally, PTSD because of past trauma can lead to conditioned behavior in otherwise neutral environments because of fear conditioning. This is one reason why it can be difficult for survivors of assault to engage intimate behavior after the assault.

Fortunately, negative conditioning and fear conditioning may be reversed through a process known as counter-conditioning.

Although classic conditioning used for sexual purposes is possible and can be fun, we must address the ethical implications as well as the limitations of sexual conditioning.

Further reading on conditioning and sexuality:

Did you enjoy the first installing of Science of Sex? Do you have further questions or suggestions for next month’s subject? Leave me a comment!

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